Long Rider Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society
A special meeting was held in London in 2003 during which three Founding Members of the Long Riders’ Guild, Gordon Naysmith, Basha O’Reilly and CuChullaine O’Reilly discussed the need to include the world’s most important equestrian travellers in the international exploration community. Though all three Long Riders were themselves Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society, they realized that this recognition had been denied many great equestrian explorers. A meeting was arranged with the Director of the Royal Geographical Society, after which it was announced that the RGS had agreed that any Full Member of The Long Riders' Guild who had made an exceptional journey would be eligible to apply for Fellowship of the RGS via The Guild.
This was an historic development for equestrian explorers as it marked the first time the physical courage demonstrated by Long Riders had been recognised by the most prestigious organisation of its kind in the world.
To strengthen the Guild’s commitment to equestrian exploration, in March 2005 a complete collection of the equestrian travel books in The Long Riders Literary Project was presented to the Foyle Reading Room at the RGS. Twenty-nine Long Riders flew in from five continents to witness this historic event. Please click here to read about it and to see the photographs.
During that meeting Sir John Ure greeted the two newest Long Rider Fellows upon behalf of the RGS and presented them with certificates confirming their having been made Fellows.
The image (top) shows Australian Long Rider Tim Cope (left) and Brazilian Long Rider Pedro Luiz de Aguiar holding their RGS Fellowship certificates.
Here is a partial list of the more than one hundred Long Riders who have been honoured by being named Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society
Pedro Luiz de Aguiar – at the age of seventy, made an 18,000 mile journey across Latin America.
Christina Dodwell – famed English explorer whose many equestrian adventures include riding solo through the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Author of Travels with Fortune
Hans-Juergen Gottet – rode 8,000 miles from Arabia to the Alps.
Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE – the doyen of English explorers, has made a number of equestrian expeditions in all parts of the world, including riding the length of China’s Great Wall. Founder Member of The Guild and author of Chinese Adventure.
Shamsuddin Hashemi – risked his life to ride across Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Jeremy James – England’s poet of the saddle has made several historic journeys in Europe and Turkey. Founder Member of The Guild and author of Vagabond.
Geldy Kyarizov - rode from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, to Moscow, Russia.
Stephen McCutcheon – rode from India to China via Pakistan’s Karakorum Mountains.
Enrico Modola – led an equestrian expedition across Africa, retracing the ancient caravan route from the Atlantic to Lake Victoria.
Gordon Naysmith – rode 14,000 kilometres from South Africa to Austria. Author of The Will to Win.
Stephen Nott – is the only person in history to have ridden to all four corners of the Australian continent.
Basha O'Reilly – rode from Volgograd in the Soviet Union to London. Founder Member of The Guild and author of Bandits and Bureaucrats.
CuChullaine O'Reilly – made the longest ride in the history of Pakistan. Founder Member of The Guild and author of the Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration.
George Patterson – rode across the Himalayas in the winter of 1949 to alert the world to the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Founder Member of the Guild and author of Journey with Loshay.
Douglas Preston – retraced Coronado’s route through the deserts of the American Southwest. Author of Cities of Gold.
Hjordis Rickert – at the age of nine, rode the length of the ancient pilgrimage route across France to Santiago, Spain.
Ian Robinson – rode alone across Mongolia, Tibet and Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor. Author of You Must Die Once.
Sir John Ure KCMG LVO – rode across the Andes. Author of Cucumber Sandwiches in the Andes.
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